Date Visited: April 30, 2016
Location: 44 Broad St, Westerly, RI
Hours: Open from dawn to 9 p.m., 365 days a year
Parking: There is not a designated parking lot for Wilcox Park. But, you should be able to find off street parking.
Wilcox Park is not your average park. In fact, it is unique in many different ways. One thing that makes Wilcox Park unique is that it is not part of the DCR or any other city or governmental body. Wilcox Park is privately operated by the Westerly Public Library’s Board of Trustees. The library, located on the grounds of the park, and a group of volunteers help keep the grounds clean and orderly. They rely on donations and fundraisers.
Westerly Library is attached to the park at the entrance. The library’s beautiful architecture of the building is both artful yet modest. It complements the beauty of the park and seems right in place. There are also benches for visitors to unwind and perhaps read a book from the library’s collection.
There are also a number of statues in the grounds of the library.
As you entered the park, one of the first statues you will see is the statue of Christopher Columbus sculpted by Ciriaco (or “Charles” as he was commonly known as) Pizzano in 1949. Originally from Avellino, Italy, Pizzano was living in Medford, Massachusetts, when he decided to sculpt this statue, appropriately, out of Westerly granite.
The inscription reads:
INTREPID ITALIAN EXPLORER
WHO LINKED THE OLD WORLD OF
OUR FATHERS TO THE NEW WORLD
OF OUR SONS
On the back of the pedestal:
WESTERLY AND PAWCATUCK
Somewhere Leif Erikson is rolling around in his grave.
Down the staircase from the entrance to the park is a fountain (which was not running when I went to visit due to the still cold temperatures). The Wilcox Memorial Fountain was designed by John Francis Paramino in 1898 and was dedicated in honor of Harriet and Stephen Wilcox who had donated the land for the park.
There are a variety of beautiful trees, plants, bridges and statues at Wilcox Park.
There is also a pond along the trails at Wilcox Park. It is populated with Koi fish
There’s room for two on this thing, right?
and baby turtles. I couldn’t find his mommy but I am sure she was nearby.
The bronze Runaway Bunny statue was dedicated in 1998 by Connecticut sculptor Joan Binney Ross. it is based on the book of the same name by Margaret Wise Brown. Unfortunately, the bunny has been the target of vandalism, predictably. But, it has been restored after each attack. Cameras are now installed liberally around the park to deter vandalism or catch the vandals.
This fella just wanted to play with the ducks
This sculpture sort of looked like a face to me. A very ugly face.
Dogs are allowed at Wilcox Park. Bandit, a Siberian Husky, had fun playing in the park. Apparently, Bandit earned his nickname because he “takes things”. What a beautiful dog. He caught my eye because of his handsome markings and his very cute smile. You can tell he’s a “bandit” based on his playful grin.